Pope Francis might be the next Instagram user to like your cat picture. Probably not, but that became a remote possibility after Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, launched his own account on the popular social media service Saturday.
The account, which uses the handle Franciscus, earned more than 100,000 followers within the first hour. The first picture, of Francis kneeling in prayer, came with the accompanying message “Pray for me” in nine languages. The account will be maintained by the Vatican staff, as is the pope's Twitter account (@Pontifex), which has close to 9 million followers.
The news comes just days after the Vatican confirmed Pope Francis was planning to join Instagram, the service owned by Facebook. Francis also met with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom in late Feburary, when the two discussed “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages,” the latter was quoted by CNN Money as saying.
I am beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 19, 2016